HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. If you have HIV, you have an infection that damages your immune system over time and causes AIDS.AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. AIDS is the final stage of an HIV infection when your immune system is totally damaged and too weak to fight off ordinary infections. When foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, invade to your body, they can cause infections. These events activate your body’s defenses.
The white blood cells of your immune system are part of your body’s defenses system which defense against foreign invaders. One type of white blood cells, called helper T lymphocytes, or helper T cells, strengthen your immune system’s response to infection in two ways. First, helper T cells release chemicals that attract other white blood cells to the site of the infection. These additional white blood cells attack the bacteria or virus which were invading your body, as well as other infected cells.
Second, helper T cells release some type of chemicals that cause other white blood cells to multiply rapidly. These new white blood cells create markers, called antibodies, which can identify the same foreign invader which were invading throughout your body. Antibodies attach to the bacteria or virus, marking them as a target for your immune system to destroy them. If you have HIV, it travels through your blood and other body fluids to infect and kills certain white blood cells.
The virus enters helper T cells, which are the primary target of the virus. Once inside, the virus makes many copies of themselves. As these virus particles increase there population, they leave the damaged helper T cell to infect other cells. The helper T cell loses its ability to protect the body from the foreign invaders from invading and dies. In this way, HIV spreads throughout the body and kills more of your helper T cells, weakening your defense or immune system. As a result, other types of infection are able to take advantage of your body’s inability to defend itself. These infections are called opportunistic infections.
If you have an HIV infection, and one or more opportunistic infection, you have AIDS.
Some of the common AIDS-related opportunistic infections and inflammation of the tissues covering your brain and spinal cord of your body, called meningitis, inflammation of your brain, called encephalitis. Respiratory illness, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. Intestinal illnesses, such as chronic diarrhea caused by infectious parasites after they invade your body. And cancer, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
HIV passes from one person to another person through infected body fluids. HIV can enter you during unprotected sex, while sharing drug injection needles, during your own childbirth, while breastfeeding from your mother, or from contaminated blood or blood products. Although there is no cure for HIV found yet, drugs called antiretroviral medications can reduce the amount of HIV virus in your body.
One class of antiretroviral medication, called entry or fusion inhibitors, disrupts the HIV infection process by presenting the virus from attaching to your cells. Other c; asses of antiretroviral medications include reverse transcriptase inhibitors protease inhibitors, and integrase inhibitors. these drugs prevent the creation, assembly, and spread of new viruses inside your body. Your doctor may prescribe a combination of these drugs classes, also called as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART.
Antiretroviral medication isn’t able to completely remove HIV from your body but slows it down enough to enable your immune system to fight infections. Regular blood tests will let your doctor know how effective your antiretroviral medication is able to control HIV. If the number of helper T cells is high enough in your blood sample, your medication that is provided to you is working.
Treatments for the opportunistic infection of AIDS are medications specific for each type of infection. For example, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you have pneumonia or tuberculosis. To avoid getting or spreading an HIV infection, know your HIV status and your partner’s status by a regular blood test.
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The most effective way to prevent HIV infection is to avoid sex both vaginal and anal. When you are engaging in sexual activity, you will be less likely to contract HIV infection, if you only have sex with one uninfected partner, or use latex condoms for protection. Avoid injecting illegal drugs, or sharing drug needles, as the needles may have a virus on it. Avoid intoxication from drugs or alcohol, because you will be more likely to engage in unsafe sexual behavior with an infected partner.